Written by: Kate Higham

When we travel, we break free from the monotony of our daily routines and embrace new experiences. However, amidst the thrill of travel, our healthy habits can often suffer setbacks as we adjust to unfamiliar environments. While travel is rejuvenating, it’s important to recognize the challenges it can pose to our overall health. Navigating nutritious food options, staying active, and safeguarding from travel-related illnesses become essential considerations.

To ensure your safety and well-being on the go, we’ll explore easy-to-implement practical tips that empower you to prioritize your health, no matter where your travel plans take you.

Safeguard your health

When we travel, we expose ourselves to new environments, routines, and people – all of which can impact our immune systems. Taking proactive measures before we embark on our journey is crucial. One essential step is to assess your current health and wellness. LetsGetChecked offers a range of at-home health tests to give you important insights into your current health status, identify any potential underlying issues, and ensure you’re in optimal shape before you go.

Before your trip, we also recommend consulting with your healthcare provider to determine which vaccinations or medications are recommended for the countries you’ll visit. Talk to your healthcare provider about your travel plans and any concerns you have.

Stay hydrated

It’s no secret that traveling, especially on long flights or in hot climates, can quickly dehydrate your body. But fear not! By prioritizing hydration, you can keep your energy levels up, support your immune system, and feel your best throughout your adventures.

Aim to drink at least 6-8 glasses of water daily, and remember to bring a refillable water bottle to stay hydrated on the go. Additionally, choosing hydrating fruit and vegetables like watermelon, cucumber, and oranges provides a refreshing boost and packs essential vitamins and minerals.

Practice safe sun habits

Your skin is your body’s largest organ and its first line of defense against the elements. Whether you’re exploring a sun-soaked beach or venturing into bustling city streets, exposure to different climates, harsh UV rays, and unfamiliar environments can take a toll on your skin.

By prioritizing sun protection and practicing safe sun habits, you not only shield yourself from painful sunburn but also reduce the risk of long-term skin damage, premature aging, and even skin cancer. Regularly apply sunscreen with a high SPF, avoid direct sun exposure during peak hours, and don’t forget to reapply sunscreen after swimming or getting wet.

Prioritize quality sleep

Maintaining a consistent sleep routine while traveling is essential for your well-being. Statistics show that lack of sleep can weaken the immune system, making quality rest even more important [1].

Aim for 7-9 hours of quality sleep each night to support a strong immune system. Create a sleep-friendly environment by keeping your room cool, dark, and free from electronic devices before bedtime. Limit caffeine consumption and avoid excessive alcohol intake, particularly in the afternoon and evening.

Jet lag and irregular schedules can also significantly impact your sleep patterns. Prepare for time zone changes by gradually adjusting your sleep schedule a few days before your trip.

Don’t neglect your nutrition

Maintaining a balanced diet while traveling can be challenging. Plan ahead and pack healthy snacks to avoid relying on processed foods commonly found in airports and on flights. Prioritize fresh fruits and vegetables rich in vitamin C and zinc to support your immune system and reduce inflammation.

Consider packing supplements such as probiotics and vitamins to bridge potential nutritional gaps in your vacation diet. Research local cuisine options to find the most nutritious dishes and explore self-catered accommodations or meal packages that offer healthy choices.

Practice smart travel hygiene

TSA security bins, airplane tray tables, and toilet handles in public areas are breeding grounds for germs. While you can’t avoid touching every surface or object you encounter, there are steps you can take to protect yourself from picking up and transmitting germs. Using disinfecting wipes or hand sanitizer, washing your hands regularly, and packing a first-aid kit with essentials are all travel-savvy steps to keeping safe and healthy on the go.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that up to 50% of travelers to developing countries experience some form of travel-related illness [2], such as heat stroke, bug bites, sunburn, or parasitic infections. These common travel-related illnesses can disrupt your vacation, but following preventive measures can minimize risks. Stay up to date on vaccinations, and if any unusual or severe symptoms develop during or after your trip, consult a healthcare provider immediately.

Monitor your activity levels

Maintaining an exercise routine while traveling can be challenging, but incorporating movement into your daily activities is vital to stay fit and healthy on your trip. Studies show that travelers who engage in regular physical activity during their trips have a significantly lower risk of experiencing travel-related health issues [3]. To stay active while traveling, consider walking rather than driving where possible, engaging in local activities like hiking or cycling, or utilizing gym facilities if available.

Remember, extended periods of sitting during long-haul flights or road trips can elevate the risk of blood clots. To mitigate this risk, take regular breaks, perform leg exercises and stretches, and consider wearing compression stockings to boost circulation. Talk to your healthcare provider if you have any concerns.

Remember your mental health

Looking after your mental health while traveling is as important as caring for your physical well-being. Traveling can be exhilarating, but unfamiliar surroundings, changes in routine and hectic schedules can also bring stress and anxiety.

While it’s tempting to try and pack as much into your travel schedule as possible, it’s important to allow time for rest too. To stay grounded and centered, consider incorporating mindfulness practices into your routine, such as deep breathing or meditation. Embrace the opportunity to unplug from technology and immerse yourself in the present moment.

Traveling should be an enriching experience for both body and mind. Following these on-the-go health hacks can help you maintain healthy habits and keep your health and wellness in check while away. Remember, if you’re concerned about your health before, during, or after your trip, please consult your healthcare provider immediately.


  1. NCBI: The Role of Sleep Deprivation on the Immune System. Online: ncbi.gov
  2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Travel Illnesses. Online:nc.cdc.gov3.
  3. NCBI: Active Travel. Online: ncbi.gov